Kuala Lumpur Hackathon Aims to Reduce Electronics Waste

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Kuala Lumpur Hackathon Aims to Reduce Electronics Waste

You can see other articles on the SEA Makerthon here.

The Welcoming Robot at the SEA Makerthon 2016:Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is one of the cities in Malaysia that is pushing for the growth of the maker community in Malaysia. While a lot of initiatives were mainly centered around software workshops, there is a greater push towards more experimental tech workshops and fabrication. One of the key players of the Malaysian maker movement is MyMaker, an initiative undertaken by The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to create a platform for creativity and innovation.

The makers scene in Malaysia is still in its infancy. Most individuals who identify as makers are still doing projects by themselves. There are not enough platforms to showcase the work of these makers. However, events such as Penang Maker Faire and hackathons are perfect platforms for the community to connect and grow together.

Waste Not Want Not in Kuala Lumpur

Alongside 9 other cities, MyMaker organized the first SEA Makerthon 2016 for Kuala Lumpur City (8-9 October). Supported by KakiDIY , MYCRO Engineering, and WeMaker, it was the first product design hackathon to address the growing problem of electronic waste being produced in the city. With over 100 people and 20 teams, this was perhaps the biggest product design hackathon to date in the city!

Most ideas revolved around waste management and tracking. However some teams created simple exciting games from waste materials. In a survey done during the registration, most participants expressed an interest in learning 3D printing. Most, if not all of them, had very little experience with laser cutters, and because of that, ten 3D printers were brought in, sponsored by MyCRO Engineering.

Throughout the 2 days, all the printers were put to work and did not stop printing until hands off time on the second day. To assist those without experience with the machines, masterclasses for both the 3D printers and laser cutters were held. Originally the classes were prepared for only 25 people, but due to overwhelming response there were over 60 people who were keen to learn these technologies. For more photos do check out their Facebook Album!

Do you know exactly what goes inside your consumer electronics?


Messy tables mean a lot of creative work is being done on them!


3D printers all nicely lined up for participants to use.


Organizers noted the enthusiasm of the participants in watching their prints in the process of being completed.


Arduino, microcontrollers, Raspberry Pi… SEA Makerthon 2016:Kuala Lumpur had the most electronic parts to help participants create the prototype of their dreams!


The team also set up a semi outdoor makerspace where they could access the laser cutter, dremel, sander, and other wood working tools.


There’s always a bit of time to take a 360 photo!

Ideas Aplenty in Creating Solutions to E-Waste

The First Prize for the SEA Makerthon 2016:Kuala Lumpur went to Team ECycleBox! Their product is a interactive IoT based e-waste recycling kiosk with a smart reward system. ECycleBox system comprises of hardware kiosk and mobile application.Users will first need to download the mobile application and register with ECycleBox. Users can then  collect their e-waste and recycle them at ECycleBox kiosks to turn their e-waste into E-points. These E-points can then be used to exchange for cash vouchers and discounts. ECycleBox will also work with various business partners to offer users with attractive rewards while helping businesses strengthening their brands and improve their customer relationship management.

There were also plenty of other innovative ideas at the event. Some of the teams recycled parts of the electronic items given to them to create toys, tracking devices and other interesting products. Some notable ones include:

1) Team Sever R
Using a hairdryer, insulated printer casing and Arduino to build a heat chamber to dry clothing and fabric. This will be a great hack for those who do not have the money to invest in expensive dryers.

2) Team Iconix
The Automated Larva Nest Concept sees potential in turning both food waste and e-waste into a profitable business. Using computer/pc casings for the box, they want to use the black spider fly’s larva to turn food waste into high quality feed  and fertilizer.

3)Team Garbage
Their product called Garbage Snap uses a Raspberry Pi Camera and Google Cloud Vision API to recognize waste being thrown into the recycle bin and reward users.

Here’s a look at their prototypes made over 2 short and intense days!

The winning team and their EcycleBox! The EcycleBox is a product made to reward consumers when they recycle consumer wastes. EcycleBox looked at the entire ecosystem by having waste brought in, recycling partners, businesses, and government agencies.


Modular Systems were all the rage during the makerthon.


The team with their smart bin that aims to segregate and detect different types of waste.


One of the more unusual ideas included this team who wanted to turn food waste into high quality feed and fertiliser by using larva with PC Casings.


It was a great 2 days! See you at the next makerthon!

The SEA Makerthon 2016 is a 10 city hackathon addressing the Zero Waste Challenge that will see over 1000 participants across 10 South East Asian Cities, each solving waste issues pertaining to their city such as electronics, food, agriculture, packaging and more. Sustainable Living Lab is proud to be the social innovation partner for the SEA Makerthon 2016 in leading the conversation about the Circular Economy in the region.

To find out more, join the Southeast Asian Makerspace Network.


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